17 May 2023
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Gwendolyn Larson Jessica McMurran John Crowley Julius Larson Katen Tanek

Gwen: Take that… Ms. Flabby McFlabby arms.
Jessica: Women are supposed to be soft.
J.N.: You're built like a cro-magnon.
Gwen: A what?
Jessica: I bet Julius says, "ouch" when he hugs you.
J.N.: Or it makes him nostalgic of rock climbing.
Jessica: Laughs.
Gwen: Goodness you two are so clever.
Julius: Could you lay off my wife?
Jessica: She started it.
J.N.: Hard to believe, I know.
Julius: Sits down. Too tired for this. You're adults.
J.N.: Of course. That's why I didn't call her a "butt head."
Gwen: Hugs Julius and glares at J.N.
Julius: Weren't you looking after Nathaniel, Honey?
Gwen: Rushes off!
J.N.: I'll have to remember that one.
Julius: Nods.
Katen: Enters! His hair… is short?!
J.N.: Nice haircut.
Katen: I wish I could return the compliment.
J.N.: You just wish you could pull it off as well as I do.
Jessica: Giggles.
Katen: Oh, indeed. So you're visiting, are you?
J.N.: Not at all. I'm just a figment of your imagination.
Katen: As charming as always. Is Elijah still in school?
J.N.: Graduating next week.
Katen: I'd like for Elijah and Adam to return home soon…
J.N.: Didn't they leave for a reason?
Katen: Yes… It wasn't safe for Adam here, Elijah went to protect him. But the Demons are making preparations for war and we fear this may be the final battle. Elijah needs to return for it and I feel Adam would be safe, or safer, here now that we've taken further measures to seal the castle grounds.
J.N.: Not my choice anyhow. Talk to Eric and Bridget.
Katen: It's hardly their choice, either… But I'm letting you and Jessica know. It may be awhile until the castle is entirely safe, though.
J.N.: Then congratulations on wasting your time. Go and get them at your leisure.
Katen: You are disagreeable whenever you can be, aren't you? How are you feeling, Julius?
J.N.: Wonders if he agreed, if he'd technically be disagreeable in this case.
Julius: Hm?
Katen: How. Are. You. Feeling?
Julius: Tired and achy.
Katen: You might consider taking Michael up on his offer?
Julius: Frowns and says nothing.
Katen: Well?
Julius: Well?
Katen: You're not of much use when all you can do is lay around all day, are you? Shrugs, raises his eyebrows, and leaves.
J.N.: Is he going through menopause?
Jessica: Katen or Julius?
J.N.: Katen.
Jessica: Why do you think he is?
J.N.: It was supposed to be an edgy and insulting thing to say about someone when they're not around to defend themselves.
Jessica: …Katen's pretty much always like that. And I still think you're useful, Julius.
Julius: Thank you, Jessica.
J.N.: Glances at Julius. So, what's the deal? I thought you only looked like a seventeen-year-old girl, not that you had their eating habits.
Julius: Gabriel's powers are manifesting in me and my body's becoming too weak to handle it.
J.N.: And that means?
Julius: If I don't let Gabriel's consciousness take over mine, I'll die. Though it's pretty much the same result for me.
J.N.: I see.
Julius: You would understand if I feel like hanging around a little longer, despite what Katen says. Smiles.
J.N.: Hm… not really. I don't know what you're going through, though.
Julius: I'd rather spend more time with my friends and family, despite being in pain. Though perhaps it's selfish of me.
J.N.: What did Katen mean about Michael's offer?
Julius: Michael is the one would have to awaken Gabriel permanently in me.
J.N.: I see.
Julius: Stands. Well, if I don't see you again, it was a pleasure knowing you, John.
J.N.: …Pleasure knowing you too, Julius.
Julius: I'm not in the mood for long good-byes right now, so… Smiles weakly. I hope I'll see you again sometime soon. Puts a hand on J.N.'s arm and walks out of the room.
J.N.: Sighs.
Jessica: …It's creepy how calm he is.
J.N.: I'm sure he just knows it's inevitable.
Jessica: I don't think I could stare death in the face and accept it.
J.N.: He doesn't really have a choice.
Jessica: Nods. I'm afraid things are getting depressing around here… Sorry. How's Elijah?
J.N.: He roughed up that one kid for me.
Jessica: Smiles. Really?
J.N.: Said he broke his nose. He wants to stop drinking. Wants to take a break for a few weeks, get a job, go to college.
Jessica: Frowns. Except he'll be coming home and fighting in a war.
J.N.: Good news. I don't have to tell him, at least. Offers a rather sarcastic smile.
Jessica: Should've never let Katen start to train him.
J.N.: It's too late for that one.
Jessica: Not much sympathy, hm?
J.N.: If it was my choice, I'd not want him to return.
Jessica: Sighs. How did this all begin?
J.N.: Shrugs.
Jessica: Have a nice little house with Daniel in the suburbs and our children would go to school and have normal lives…
J.N.: Would have been nice.
Jessica: Oh well. Might have beens are useless.
J.N.: Yeah.
Jessica: Hugs J.N. halfheartedly.
J.N.: Hugs Jessica surprisingly tight.
Jessica: Smiles and hugs him a bit more tightly. You really are sweet, John… Sorry if that hurts your manly, hardened self image. Laughs a bit.
J.N.: I'll overlook it this time. Don't know what I'd do without my manly, hardened self image.
Jessica: Laughs a lot. Sits down. John…
J.N.: Kind of looks awkward, seeing as he had no idea his words were that funny.
Jessica: No matter what I say, I always manage to offend you. Laughs.
J.N.: Offend me…?
Jessica: Wipes away tears. Giggles. Hahaha!
J.N.: …I wasn't offended.
Jessica: Swallows. Tries to compose herself again. Oh… Burst of laughter.
J.N.: …Is there something on my face? Looks earnestly confused.
Jessica: Laughs harder. I-I've got to stop. Hahaha. Coughs. Mm! I'm okay now.
J.N.: …Are you alright?
Jessica: Yes. Sorry. Purses her lips. Takes deep breaths.
J.N.: Are you sure?
Jessica: Yes. D-Did you give Elijah a stern talking to?
J.N.: Yeah… No, I didn't. I just told him that we were worried about him… that we cared.
Jessica: Well you were the one saying he shouldn't get off scot-free about it.
J.N.: I know. I just couldn't, seeing him like that.
Jessica: Like what? Gets a glass of water.
J.N.: Earlier, before the party, when we spoke… He seemed confused… vulnerable, if that's the right word. Then, seeing him drunk after he said he was miserable, I just thought that maybe he didn't need someone who wasn't his father to admonish him.
Jessica: …His father can't admonish him.
J.N.: I know. He made it plain that I wasn't his father either.
Jessica: Well, no, you're not.
J.N.: I. Know. Or did you think I had somehow gotten myself mixed up one day?
Jessica: No need to be snarky. I just don't see why not being his father stopped you. Daniel obviously has no hand in parenting Elijah anymore. Not that you should have one, if you choose not to. It's up to you. I just think you're someone he'd listen to.
J.N.: Lets out a small breath, visibly trying to calm down a bit. Sorry… there is no need for snark. He doesn't need a stern talking to anymore… He's getting his life on track… or he will be until he comes back.
Jessica: I hope so.. If we don't all die.
J.N.: That's wonderful. I'm glad to hear that.
Jessica: Sorry… feeling rather pessimistic today. Why're you so angry?
J.N.: I'm not angry.
Jessica: You were a minute ago.
J.N.: It was just my usual charming self. What'd you find so funny a bit ago?
Jessica: You and your strange violent bursts of anger. I just thought what you said was funny. Then I got rather tickled.
J.N.: Sorry if I didn't laugh… not much to laugh about right now.
Jessica: What's going on with you? Being assistant manager is that bad?
J.N.: No. Armed with the knowledge that you all could be dead has… Oh, how to put it? Rained on my parade?
Jessica: Oh, John… I didn't meant to worry you.
J.N.: Maybe not, but it's the truth of the matter.
Jessica: I didn't mean for you to get caught up in all of Elijah's problems, either.
J.N.: That's probably why you left him to Eric and Bridget.
Jessica: Checks herself before she says, "Why would I leave him with you?" That was Daniel's decision.
J.N.: Nods a bit. It was best to leave him with family.
Jessica: Well… That's not the kind of responsibility I'd want to put on you John… I don't think you'd want it. Looks at him a bit oddly. You're a young man.
J.N.: Yeah. You're all ancient.
Jessica: Shrugs. Elijah was Adam's age when I was your age…
J.N.: Are you trying to make a point or would you like to keep going on about my age?
Jessica: Id' just like to know what's bothering you about Elijah, apparently.
J.N.: That him, and all of you, could be dead soon.
Jessica: John…
J.N.: What?
Jessica: There… There's no sense in worrying about it. I could die tomorrow… You could die tomorrow. Telling this to herself as well as to J.N.
J.N.: Yeah, I could. Maybe be hit by a bus. Not fighting a war with the fucking devil.
Jessica: Well… I'm sorry we got you involved in all of this in the first place. You shouldn't have to worry about it.
J.N.: I'm more scared that you're all going to die.
Jessica: I'm scared too. And I can't say anything to make you feel better about it. Everyone dies sometime. I'd rather die fighting for something than passively.
J.N.: That's great to hear, that you'd rather die fighting for your very life than live a long one.
Jessica: It's more than just me, John… It's this entire continent… Maybe even outside of it if the Demons win. Maybe you too. I'm not trying to be a martyr… but my life isn't the end-all-be-all of this world.
J.N.: Yeah, I'm aware that the world will go on without you, or me, or Elijah, or Katen, or anyone else in this castle or in my world.
Jessica: It's like you said about Julius, John… It's inevitable. Whether I fight or not, the war will happen.
J.N.: Why do you have to fight? I thought the Kings and Queens had soldiers to fight for me.
Jessica: Because I can fight… and we need everyone we've got. Do you think I'm being selfish? Not being a good mother? Not being a good friend?
J.N.: I never said any of that, but what would one, two more people matter on the battlefield anyhow? You, Elijah, Julius, you could go somewhere else and not die.
Jessica: Julius is going to die either way, John.
J.N.: I know that. I just didn't want to leave him out and sound insensitive.
Jessica: Elijah certainly isn't going to go somewhere else. He's trained his whole life for this, I'm sorry to say. Looks sad. Even if he has other ambitions… he'll fight. Frowns. Lonan killed Daniel to revive Lucifer.
J.N.: You have to want more for Elijah than this.
Jessica: Of course I do! Dissolves into tears.
J.N.: Didn't think she'd cry.
Jessica: More calmly, though brokenly. It's Elijah's decision anyway… He's an adult.
J.N.: Maybe he'll want to stay.
Jessica: Maybe… Sounds very unconvinced. Don't you think I've thought about all of this, John?
J.N.: Doesn't say anything, as the thought just occurred and now he feels a bit ashamed.
Jessica: …I know you haven't. More softly. And I really am sorry that all of this has been put on your shoulders… You really, really, really shouldn't have to worry about this.
J.N.: It's not on my shoulders and it's not about me.
Jessica: I'm afraid you didn't get your lung for free.
J.N.: I don't care because of this stupid lung.
Jessica: I mean, because we're all friends now… and you care about us… So you're involved.
J.N.: And I can't do a thing, either.
Jessica: You know we're happy if you're happy, John.
J.N.: I wasn't happy for a long time.
Jessica: Why not…? If I might ask… I mean… You're still a butcher… same friends, except for us, as far as I can tell… healthier, yes.
J.N.: Maybe if you survive, I'll have it all sorted out by the end of this and we can have a nice chat.
Jessica: Something to look forward to, then.
J.N.: I know I haven't always been the best person to talk with…
Jessica: I understand you're not the talkative sort, though it can get on my nerves sometimes. I'm sure I get on your nerves, too.
J.N.: At times. I'm talking now, though and, just as usual, I'm too late to say anything of real importance.
Jessica: What important things are you too late to say?
J.N.: I don't have anything important to say. Just mentioning that my timing sucks.
Jessica: I understand you don't like to get all emotional.
J.N.: I'm not worried about that now.
Jessica: I really do appreciate you looking after Elijah.
J.N.: Yeah. I did a great job of that.
Jessica: I really don't see why you're beating yourself up over things that didn't really have anything to do with you and you couldn't have prevented. I couldn't even guess Elijah'd start remembering that stuff and start drinking because of it, goodness. And unless Elijah really trusts you, he's not even the type to tell you if something's really deeply bothering him. He's much more likely to put on a happy face and pretend like nothing's going on.
J.N.: …I don't think I'm even making a point anymore.
Jessica: What point are you trying to make?
J.N.: I'm not even trying to make one… I'll just miss you all.
Jessica: John… We're not dead, yet. We might not even die.
J.N.: Smiles a bit. Maybe I'm a young man, but I'm not a child. I know what war entails.
Jessica: Don't be so pessimistic. If I die, then I can be with Daniel in Heaven.
J.N.: I'm being realistic. And at least that's the consolation for you, I suppose.
Jessica: I'd rather not die and I'd rather not hear about how sure you are that my son and I are going to die, thank you.
J.N.: Then what else do you want to talk about right now?
Jessica: You're insufferable, John Nathan Crowley… Exhausted and half-joking. It takes a lot of digging to get down to the nitty-gritty of you and still you never change.
J.N.: Just laughs.
Jessica: Stares at him. You got the giggles, too?
J.N.: No… I've… Heh, never really ran into something less funny in my entire life.